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to reach a fiscal cliff deal. the senate and house are expected to reconvene tomorrow. we're six days away from possible across the board tax increases and spending cuts. >>> former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital. his wife, barbara, and other relatives at his side. the 88-year-old has been in the hospital for more than a month with a lingering cough and recently had a low grade fever. doctors remain cautiously optimistic about a full recovery. >>> a claim of facebook privacy breach within the zuckerberg family. his sister says a family photo was reposted by another person on twitter. randy zuckerberg called the woman out. the woman apologized said it was public because it was in her facebook newsfeed. >>> in china the longest high speed railway opens, connects beijing with guangzhou, 1,500 in eight hours, but tickets start at $138, and they're a little pricey for some people and many travelers say it's cheaper and faster to fly. >>> a report just out this morning shows home prices up in october, the biggest annual gain in more than two years. alison kosik joins u
of the situation, on the floor of united states senate they're not talking about the fiscal cliff. they're not talking about the debt limit. no. they're talking about intelligence, which on the floor of the senate is a bit of an oxymoron. and i will get e-mails on that. patti ann: all right. well, big developments coming out of syria. the one of the regime's staunchest allies is signaling a possible change in position. we'll tell you who it is and what it could mean for president bashar al-assad coming up. gregg: a surfer fighting off a shark after having part of his hand literally ripped off. we'll tell you how he managed to save his own life and how his friends helped to save him as well. >> they did a marvelous job as well hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios gregg: ♪ dominic the donkey ♪. gregg: it is not at sight you see every day. dominic the donkey going for a stroll in indianapolis of all places. giving a cop a tough time trying to catch her
-called fiscal cliff. it's come down to a matter of hours. midnight tomorrow, everybody's taxes going up unless something happens in washington, d.c. hello to you all and welcome to weekends with alex witt. i'm t.j. holmes filling in for alex. a consequence of history in the nation's capital if congress cannot reach a compromise deal on tax and spending cuts. a short time ago, we were hearing from the president talking about the fiscal cliff negotiations. he spoke exclusively on "meet the press" and he had a message for congress. >> at minimum, make sure people's taxes don't go up and 2 million people don't lose their unemployment. i was modestly hopeful yesterday. now, the pressure is on congress to produce. >> the president responded to what would happen if no agreement is reached and the nation does fall over that cliff. >> if you look at projections of 2013, people generally felt that the economy would continue to grow, unemployment would tick down, housing would continue to improve, but what's been holding us back is the dysfunction here in washington. if people start seeing that on januar
to washington to see if congress reaches a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. senator mitch mcconnell spoke on the senate floor. >> i can report that we have reached an agreement on all of the tax -- the tax issues. we are very, very close. as the president just said, the most important piece, the piece that has to be done now, is preventing the tax hikes. >> in just the last hour, the president said a deal is, quote, within sight and that he himself is willing to make the hard choices to avoid $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax hikes. wolf blitzer joining me now. wolf, you've been with these kinds of negotiations before. when you look at this thing, do you think the can is just getting kicked down the road? in some ways it seems we're only getting a down payment here if that on the bigger issue of deficit reduction. >> and you're absolutely right, joe. the president himself acknowledged that he wanted a big deal, a big picture deal if you will, couldn't achieve that with the leadership in congress. so they're going to do it in stages. they're going to do it in various parts. t
. glad to be here. >> senator, there's a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff shifting to the senate. that's where a solution should be worked on. what have you been heard from your leadership on that? >> well, i think that everyone is going back to the drawing boards. i had hoped that we would be able to take speaker boehner's plan b and work on that with the democrats, and then maybe come to terms before we broke for christmas. to make sure the tax increases that would occur at the end of the year won't -- and something that hasn't talked too much is it would make permanent the child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, the amt relief, things that middle-class families need to continue. all of that will go you have if we don't do something by the end of the year. >> are you hearing from leadership it will be taken up, something does need to cobble together? >> i know our leader are trying. >>> what about vice president biden, you worked with him for 15 years. he and biden worked very well together in the fiscal negotiations last time. should you bring in biden into the conversation h
on the looming fiscal cliff. reid and his fellow senators are under intense scrutiny after john boehner said the democratic controlled senate must act first on proposals already passed by his chamber. we will bring you reid's remarks as they happen. >>> as the clock ticks down toward the fiscal cliff, washington has a new worry the debt ceiling, treasury secretary tim geithner says the united states will hit its legal borrowing limit on monday. alison kosik is in new york. i feel like it's groundhog day. >> i know it really is. what's old is new again, right, carol? let me kind of back up the bus here. we start talking about the debt ceiling and i know people's eyes glaze over. let me tell you exactly what the debt ceiling is. it's a cap set by congress of the amount of money the federal government can borrow. right now the ceiling is at $16.394 trillion and treasury secretary tim geithner said earlier this week we could hit that debt ceiling on monday, on new year's eve and the treasury will soon start using what it says are extraordinary measures to keep the government from going over the
recovery efforts. the house and senate standing by to consider any fiscal cliff update. we had an update earlier from a reporter covering the issue. host: let's begin with david lightman. white house. the best sense of what you think the dynamics will be inside the room at the 3:00 p.m. meeting. guest: it wouldn't shock me if we're talking 72 hours from now. the deadline is 11:59 on the 31st. we have seen this on and on. there are five people that know what is going and they are talking. host: let's walk through the scenarios that we can expect. the meeting is at the white house. democrats and republicans. this is the first time they have met since the election. guest: november 16 was the only time they met. it is good news they are talking. are they going to keep talking? will they say, "we will see everybody tomorrow." they would keep talking. what is going to happen on the floors of the house and senate. the senate needs to extend the tax rates a year and amended and that can be done in a matter of hours. when they agree to that -- would they agree to that? we also have to watch the t
america from going over the fiscal cliff. as the house and senate reconvene tomorrow. the clock is ticking. six days until the deadline. the way things work in washington, can they actually get something done before the end of the year? brianna keilar, what is the latest on this? >> hi, there, drew. president obama will be heading home from hawaii tonight, logical time arri arriving in d.c. thursday morning when the senate will be reconvenin reconvening, and the senate, all eyes on now, that we look for the last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. even though the president is returning on thursday, we may not see the senate roll out its bill to deal with the fiscal cliff. perhaps for a couple of days. this is entirely possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate major
through with a fine tooth comb and pick through. senator sessions said the fiscal cliff is like three days away. we have to read it to sign off on it. >> that's the worst. no, this is not time. let's reform it and go about it with a squaple. meet axe hacks it across the board. either we are going off of the cliff or bad short-term deal that kicks the can down the road. we need to reform quick kick in the can. >> clayton: secretary panetta, set to take over him. white house looking at possible options and name that is bandied about is form are senator chuck hagel. critics slammed him of course and looks like the white house is trying to go in a different direction. others say give him a shake. go back to and see he is a fair-mind guy. >> i think he's the wrong pick at the wrong time. lack of support of israel and unwillingness to call the iran revolutionary guard a terrorist organization and he stepped back from action against iran and he was one of the biggest critics . one telling us that the surge couldn't work. that was always here from chuck hagel. that's not the kind of guy i want lea
. that is when the house and senate is expected to reconvene. >>> starbucks weighing in with the own fiscal cliff campaign. workers at 120 d.c. area stores are asked to write this on their cup. come together. yeah, he says it's a way to send elected official as a respectful but potent message, urging them to come together to fin common ground. not grounds, ground. >> all of the bickering in washington, all it will take is a cup at starbucks, i think it will push everybody over the edge. get a deal. >>> ahead, a u.s. marine who languished in a mexican prison for months, gets to spend the holidays at home with his family. >>> coming up, we'll talk to one of the lawmaker who's helped win his release. you're watching "starting point." ♪ everybody well don't you know it's me now? ♪ ♪ yeah who's it, who's it huh? ♪ ♪ willy's back with a brand new beat now, ♪ ♪ yeah doin' it doin' it up! ♪ heyyy yeah, tryin' to bite my style! ♪ ♪ heyyy yeah, how you like me now? ♪ ♪ na na na na na na na na ♪ and everybody go uh! time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants tha
time. on hand for today's fiscal cliff face-off, the president, vice president biden, senate majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pelosi on the democratic side. john boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. you say logistically, a deal can happen. politically, open question. >> that's right. logistically, it's still possible. but it appears right now, the prospects for a deal are dimming. the senate is in yesterday, but not doing a whole lot on the fiscal cliff. still awaiting the proposal to come out from senate democrats and what we're seeing is the blame game. kind of in full swing. public posturing, ahead of the fiscal cliff. obviously in case we go over it. listen to senate majority leader harry reid, yesterday. >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything that senate democrats put forward, just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watc
some republicans in the senate and also from the house in order to aavert this fiscal cliff. the white house right now is saying they want the threshold for the income tax rates at a quarter million dollars. that might be difficult to get republican support on that, so we'll see if that changes, suzanne. >> do we expect that the president is going to come back early from his hawaii vacation if anything happens on the senate side? clearly, he could get things done from hawaii as well, but it could be at least symbolically for him to return to washington. >> reporter: definitely. we expect that he will be heading back to washington, d.c. he was supposed to be here through the new year. i will tell you nothing is official on the schedule that he's definitely going back to d.c., but the sense you get from the white house is that it's more an issue of when and not if. if there is a bill that goes through the senate, the president will have to be there in order to perhaps twist some arms and certainly the optics are important. if we go over the fiscal cliff, suzanne, you've covered the white
they believe now more than ever we may be getting closer to actually going over the fiscal cliff. that is of course hanging over the heads of a lot of americans as they enter this holiday season and also looming over this vacation the president is having. i'll give you a little sense of what president obama has been up to in hawaii. on saturday he played a round of golf with some of his closest friends and advisers and later in the day he went to dinner with the first lady and friends and on saturday he attended a memorial service for the late senator daniel inouye. in the past years the president and first lady have often around christmas taken time to visit with the troops. that is something that is certainly a possibility this year and of course just spending some quality time together. >> and no doubt hitting some of their favorite eateries like the rainbow cafe and getting their kalu a pig. another big topic over the holiday weekend was gun control. wayne lapierre was offered the opportunity to soften his message during an exclusive interview with nbc's david gregory. take a
this morning, let me bring you up to date on the fiscal cliff. we're now just five days away from going over the fiscal cliff. happy new year. here's what you might have missed. president obama left hawaii early to get back to washington today. the senate is also coming back from christmas vacation today to work on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the
control. two high-ranking senators saying over the weekend about the fiscal cliff more likely a deal won't be met in time. we'll get into that. >>> a piece of "the boston globe" over the weekend where mitt romney's elder son said his father was reluctant and didn'ten to run for president to begin with. >>> long before the duchess cambridge joined the royal family, queen elizabeth was setting the style trends. this morning her fashion secrets revealed but her official dresser. can't wait for that. >>> let's get started with that all-important forecast on this busy christmas eve morning. the weather channel's maria la rosa is in for al upstairs in the stat light center. good morning. >> we have a positive side. it's been a wind snowfall for ski he resorts across the west but travel is a nightmare. they're holding traffic in passes in the sierra nevada. it pushes to the east, and that's when we are concerned about severe weather. look at the future cast looking at the radar from midnight tonight. you see the heavy rainfall, damaging wind gusts and potentially tornadoes tomorrow morning from
avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. those bills await action by the senate. if the senate will not approve, and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the house. the senate first must act. now, the house leader john boehner says he will give house members 48 hours before he calls them back. that means the earliest they'll be back is on saturday. so are they just passing the buck to the senate? >> i think that's what's happening in both chambers right now. you saw a return statement from senate majority leader harry reid's spokesman yesterday talking about the incompetence of the house. these two sides are pointing fingers at each other. you have a situation now where these guys are completely confident or at least confident enough that their strategies are the right ones for them that they're not moving off the ball at all. and without any sort of movement, that's why you hear so much pessimism. >> i think part of it is they're afraid of spooking the markets, right? no gop senator wants to sign -- wants
work done? tell us a little bit about the fiscal cliff here. we know the senate is going to come back on thursday. do we expect the presidt to come back to washington and deal with trying to avoid these tax increases and the spending cuts? >> it really does sound like he'll be coming back, suzanne. it is not official. the white house hasn't put out a schedule update. it seems to be more a matter of when he is coming back rather than if. the senate will reconvene thursday. all eyes there as senate majority leader harry reid tries to cobble together something that can get some republican support. we'll be waiting to see exactly when president obama is coming back but we understand that the senate even though it reconvenes on thursday may not, senate democrats may not roll out a bill until closer to the new year. also get some republican support and put pressure on the house to take it up. >> we'll be following that very closely. have a wonderful christmas and of course we'll talk with you a little bit later. if there are any developments on the fiscal cliff. stay with cnn for any moveme
from the fiscal cliff. sources tell us vice president joe biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell talked through the night and vow to keep these negotiations going on today. the gridlock in washington could also hold up your tax refund. you might have to wait until late march to file if congress does not approve a short-term fix for the alternative minimum tax in the next few days. same issue two years ago delayed the opening of tax season by four weeks to mid-february. >>> former president george h.w. bush is still in a houston hospital but no longer in intensive care. bush was moved to regular patient room on saturday to continue his recovery. the 88-year-old was initially hospitalized with bronchitis last month, came down last week with a stubborn fever. >>> parts of the midwest are under a windchill advisory today. it's going to feel like 35 below in parts of minnesota, iowa, and north dakota. while the south will see some thunderstorms move through later as well. >>> kim kardashian expecting her first child with favorite bad boy rapper kanye west. a spokeswoman for kar
from going over the fiscal cliff? fair and balanced, joining us live is senator from delaware. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you, shannon. >> s it fair to say that the democrats and the white house in particular just hasn't really laid out a plan that is legitimate, detailed and something they could vote on? >> that is fundamentally untrue. what matters to everybody watching and our country and our future is that both sides republican and democrat, house and senate, white house included have failed to pull together a comprehensive big deal that would allow us to make significant progress towards cutting our deficit is, stablizing our debt and dealing with the things we need to invest in to strengthen our economic recovery. to suggest that this is really only the democrats fault misses the point that over the last two years over a whole series of different incidents we had problems getting the senate controlled by the democrats and the house controlled by the republicans, and the president aligned along one common vision and common plan. proposals by the president in the an
with two days left before the fiscal cliff or shouldn't he sit down and hammer out a deal with the senate republicans and house republicans. do you think a deal gets done? >> i do think a deal will get done. i think it might january 1st. i think we will briefly go over the fiscal cliff. the president worked on the issue months and months. the entire "crisis" is an issue of congress' own making . he was taping the meet the press on saturday. house republicans were cozy and doing nothing on the fiscal cliff. john bone bone took himself out of the negotiations and abdicated responsibility and said he would dole with whatever the senate and president had come to. i happening there is a lot of good proprosals on the table and something will get done, too. >> dave: it appears that senate republicans came a long way in sharing their desire for no taxes raised on the wealthy. $550,000 thres hold for couples is a significant compromise. but can they get anything through the house in terms of getting republican votes today? >> i don't think that will get through the house . the house was elected to
that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that would give -- that would give to middle class americans. that passed the senate. now, we know that republicans have buried themselves in procedural road blocks, everything we try to do around here. and now they are saying, well, we can't do the 250 because it wasn't blue-slipped, because it will be blue-slipped. mr. president, how does the american people react to that? there was a bill introduced by the ways and means committee in the house, sandy levin that called for this legislation. the speaker was going to bring it up to kill it but he kobt kill it and then we moved to plan b, the debacle of all debacles. it's the mother of all debacles. that was brought up in an effort to send us something. he couldn't even pass it among the republicans it was so absurd. he meaning the speaker. so it's very clear now, mr. president, that the speaker's number one goal is to get elected speaker on january 3rd. the house is not even
on something tonight, but we know that the senate will not vote on anything that to do with the fiscal cliff until tomorrow. one sign of how desperate it is, vice president joe biden has joined the talks, and speaking from his senate days, republican leader mitch mcconnell speaking, but what the gop wants, they won't get. both sides are still talking, even if they are not necessarily listening to each other. >> the republican leader has shown absolutely good faith, but it is that we are apart on big issues. >> i am willing to get it done, but i need a dance partner. >> both of the republicans and the democrats agree there need to be changes to the u.s. tax code, and that is one thorny issue to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. let's go to jean sahati who is a senior writer for cnnmoney.com, and probably the person most immersed in the my knew that -- minutia of all of the stuff going on and so you have political headlines of stuff going on like tax rates and there are back channels and people have been discussing this for a long time, and what is your take? >> a long time. >> and first of a
increases that make up the fiscal cliff, they're set to take effect in just five days. much more on the fiscal cliff crisis, the effort to reach some kind of agreement later this hour. we're going go live to capitol hill for the latest as the senate returns to work. that is coming up in about 20 minutes. >>> and president obama's going to have another cabinet position to fill for the new year. we learned a short time ago apa lisa jackson is stepping down after the president's state of the union speech in january. jackson starting with the agency as a staff level scientist back in 1987. during her tenure as administrator she tackled pollution problems in poor community communities. oil drilling and coal regulations. all those things on her plate. jackson said she is confident epa is headed in the right direction. >>> winter storm causing some real headaches. millions of folks in the mid-atlantic states, we're looking at heavy snow, torrential rain, strong winds, dangerous travel conditions from here, washington, d.c., all the way to maine. snowfall is especially heavy in northern
on the fiscal cliff deadline on december 31st. retiring senator joe lieberman puts the potential failure in historic perspective. >> i feel it's more likely we will go over the cliff than not, and if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal, consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military, which democrats have been calling for for years, and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> so, hey, merry christmas. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president in honolulu. brianna, are the white house and republicans even talking? >> reporter: no. they're not, carol. there's no substantive discussions going on between the white house and senate democrats and senate republicans and house republicans. and this is key because in order for the cliff
. >> reporter: meanwhile some senators are suggesting the only option now to avoid a fiscal cliff is a scaled-back deal to stop tax increases for most americans. we just hear heard heard ed elude to that. we are joined my jaime. what happens if the president and congress fail to reach an agreement on averting this so-called fiscal cliff? >> well, we go over it. you know, maybe the analogy of fiscal cliff that everyone is using might not be perfect because that doesn't end everything. there will be negotiations afterwards. in fact republicans who think that we are going overlook to the debt ceiling hike that will have to happen some time in the beginning of next year, perhaps at the end of january, or early february, at the point where negotiations will really pick up again, because they'll have some leverage there. there are reports out that some agencies, the defense department, that are facing these cuts as a result of the fiscal cliff are planning already ahead knowing that there will be negotiations afterwards if no deal is reached, and believing that some type of remedy will occur. they
from the fiscal cliff. are there any contacts occurring on this topic between the president and anyone in congress, briana? >> reporter: there is an open line of communication, i would say, with senate democrats, hala. but there is really no substantive conversations between the folks that you with need for there to be conversations between in order to strike a deal. the white house and congressional republicans, and perhaps more alarmingly, senate democrats are not in conversations right now with senate republicans or with house republicans. and this is problematic obviously because in order to avoid the fiscal cliff, you would need to find some sort of deal that would make it through the senate and the house and that would need democratic and republican support. now, all eyes on the senate because they will reconvene on the 27th, thursday. and senate majority leader harry reid, it is up to him, really, to cobble together something that can get some of that support. right now the white house is still supporting a threshold of $250,000 back to their initial starting point for tax rates
of this year? the past a spending bill. in order to avert the fiscal cliff and particularly sequestration and in august they pass a tax bill. the senate on but the bills, nothing. the same said he could not give us a subject. gerri: what to bring this up. the president at a press conference really sort of insulting republicans, hoping to come to agreement. listen to the president. >> my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain, whenever you want to call it. with this congress, that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time. maybe we can do it in stages. we're going to solve this problem instead in several steps . gerri: he could have been a little more conciliatory. >> i guess what i would say is, i would agree with him. i wish we did have a grand bargain. even brad he just will the when the democrats said we needed a grand bargain. certainly paul ryan and i don't know if you remember, he voted against it. plenty of blame to go around. add up think it makes sense to go after just the presiden
faulkner. with just days to go until the fiscal cliff deadline president obama and top congressional leaders are set for a crucial meeting. expectations are low for a deal when house and senate leaders head to the white house this afternoon to meet there with president obama. lawmakers are increasingly looking at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for
support in the senate and the house to avoid the fiscal cliff. we are one week away from it, as you mentioned, and republicans are not even part of the discussions, both in the senate and in the house, and at this point they are certainly maybe having a working christmas. senate democrats and republicans, but i think it's interesting just to kind of recap what's going on here. before president obama and house speaker john boehner were working on a much bigger package obviously, not just to avoid the fiscal cliff but to try and tackle the long-term fiscal health of the country, trying to overall it was expected to raise some taxes, try to deal with entitlement reform and tax reform, those other big things like entitlement reform and tax reform get kicked into the new year, dana, so it's the gift that keeps on giving on this cli clifftmas. >> taking this pretty far. one of the key questions is whether or not senate democratic leader harry reid will be able to get enough republicans in the senate to vote on anything that will keep taxes low and maybe cut some spending. is the white hou
for avoiding the fiscal cliff. so what will that mean, and how will america respond come january 1st? gregg: new developments in the investigation into the deadly connecticut school shooting. jenette sises have been asked to study the gunman's dna. what can they learn about it? gregg: severe weather alert. winter warnings in effect as a brutal storm is sweeping through the u.s. it brought massive amounts of snow and even tornados to parts of country and claimed at least 15 lives. illinois was no exception. major problems on the roads as snow and sleet pounded the area, forcing some businesses to remain closed. maria molina is keeping an eye on the storm from the extreme weather center. we're going to get the latest, top of the hour. >> new year's eve is fast approaching and for decade and decade the american people have watched the ball drop in times square. it is the countdown to midnight, the start of a new year. but this year, mr. president, the american people are waiting for the ball to drop but it will not be a good drop. heather: those words from senate majority leader harry reid as
with the fiscal cliff today? >> all signs point to iffy, i will tell that you, ali. some senators are saying there may be a deal by tonight. some are saying there will be a vote by midnight tonight, some say we're going over the cliff. it's hard to tell. the expectation, even if we go over the fiscal cliff. right now, congress is still looking at trying to resolve this here in the next few days. so it's not as if we go over the cliff and stay there. there would be time to resolve the issue. that being said, we saw a whirlwind of negotiating on capitol hill. and right now, after things sort of didn't work out between mitch mcconnle and harry reid, the top republican and top democrat in the senate, they have shifted between mitch mcconnell and vice president joe biden. that's where all of the action is right now. keeping the speaker of the house john boehner abreast of what's going on. keeping harry reid abreast of what's going on and keeping president obama abreast of what's going on. we heard from senator reid yesterday that they are very far apart. not just talking on the threshold, initial
. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate democratic leaders is trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill can pass congress at the 11th hour. >> there is absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these americans from a tax hike. at the very least, let's agree right now on what we already agree on. let's get that done. >> reporter: but to get that done, democrats first would likely need nearly ten senate republicans to cross party lines and vote to effectively increase taxes on the top 2% of americans. some conservatives be grudgingly now say they're willing to do that. >> if we get done to twn to thed that's the only choice, i would support that. but i wish we would have a comprehensive bill that dealt with spending you can entitlements and taxes and you would together. >> reporter: the senate returns to work thursday, but democratic sources say their best realistic chance of getting gop votes is when the pressure will really be on, at or close to december 31
a deal can be cut in time to avert the fiscal cliff. on saturday, the president was at work here in the white house but all eyes were on the senate where negotiators were trading deal points and revenue figures to try to reach an agreement all sides can stomach. the baseline for the president, any bipartisan bill would have to extend unemployment insurance that would affect some 2 million americans and increase taxes for the highest income earners. but negotiators can still work out exactly where that tax increase would hit and whether they would halt an increase in the estate tax. in case those discussions break down, the president asked harry reid to prepare a separate bill to put on the floor of the senate that would raise taxes on households that earn $250,000 or more. now, that's really a democratic proposal and you could expect republicans to block it, so, rather than thinking of that as a stop gap measure, probably think of it as a political measure to shift the responsibility for failure on to republicans just before the nation hits the hour of wreckening. alison? >> than
? kelly: the next few days are indeed critical in the fight for the so-called fiscal cliff but as the president cuts short his vacation and the senate returns tomorrow we'll look whether democratic leader harry reid will have a plan c ready to go and rumors after $400 billion price tag. >> big chunk of change. we're eyeing a massive winter storms that spawned at least last night this deadly tornado. as it moves north, that storm we'll look at the danger it poses for many americans especially if you're trying to travel anywhere today. folks there living through rare holiday twisters react to a christmas day storm they say they will never forget. >> i've never seen one in real life. just to be able to hear one from that far away, it is about a mile from where we are and you could still hear it. it was, it was pretty amazing. [ mother ] you can't leave the table till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes! kelly: "fox busin
continues. jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and january 1st is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff. for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. let me get you clued in here. in california, talking more than 800 new laws, including one requiring apartments and condos to install carbon monoxide detectors. separately, employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants for log ins to social media accounts, such as facebook and twitter. and the increase between 28 cents and 37 cents per hour affects more than 1 million low-income earners. thanks to laws that have lower minimum wage to keep price. and the price of stamps is set to go up? e, again, by a penny, on january 27th, which brings the price of sending first-class mail to 46 cents. >>> well, the senate has also approved a five-year extension of the foreign intelligence surveillance act allowinging the government to eavesdrop on overseas phone calls and e-mails from potential terrorists. they say it's protected us from more attacks like 9/11. others argue the bill could be abused. the bill is
be going off the fiscal cliff. he and others have said all along that there would be this fighting but right up to the deadline. they have finally come up with some sort of a deal. lieberman and others on the hill saying they think we may in fact go off the cliff. rattle the markets as you suggested, jamie. lieberman also believes the senate will be in session on new year's eve. going right up against the end of the year deadline to try to work this out, jamie. >> jamie: if any news breaks i know you will bring it to us. live from honolulu. washington is not the only one thinking about the fiscal cliff. it turns out that the concerns about it or affecting how much people are spending this holiday season. analysts saying overall sales are down from last year. it's not just the economy though. they say people just don't feel like spending as much. many still feeling the wake of super storm sandy. also those recent shootings in colorado and connecticut. because of the low sales predictions. retailers are banking on last-minute shoppers to boost their bottom lines but experts say they
service for senator daniel inouye yesterday for his burial. but, obviously a fiscal cliff still very much on his mind. that short-term deal he was talking about on friday was basically extending middle class tax cuts, $250,000, or below, even though that has been controversyal. even though republicans have not signed onto that. he wants to extend unemployment benefits for two million americans about to lose them after a week if there is no deal. as you noted he wanted to push spending cuts to january which is upsetting republicans like john barrasso. take a listen. >> when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he see as political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets tax revenue for new programs. and gets to cut military which democrats calling for years and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> reporter: now democrats insist that is nonsense. they say the president since the election has been working with the republicans trying to figure out some sort of solution to this crisis. they note that they believe is
th-hour scramble to keep your taxes from going up and avoid that so-called fiscal cliff in washington. president obama has called the top congressional leaders to the white house this afternoon, for the first talks in more on a month. but hope for a new deal is fading. the senate majority leader is accusing the speaker of running a dictatorship if there's no deal within four days. just about every american will see their taxes go on up. >>> and this morning, more snow is threatening to make holiday travel difficult for millions of americans. as sam has been telling us, snow is falling across the upper midwest and will be moving into the northeast tomorrow. meantime, the recovery from the last storm is just beginning. 135,000 homes and businesses still without power in arkansas alone. many of them could be in the dark through next week. >>> and this morning, russian president vladimir putin has signed a highly controversial bill which bans americans from adopting russian children. dozens of pending adoptions now frozen, even cases where children -- this is heartbreaking -- were just da
get passed in time to avoid the fiscal cliff? >> i'm not optimistic that it can get through the house. if there's a deal of 75, 80 senators voting for it, which is what mcconnell and biden are trying to construct here, it's not a deal that would just get over 60 votes but something bigger than that, the house would have to put it on the floor and it probably passes and probably gets over the finish line. you know, that's where i'm not sure we get a deal. is the political will there among house republicans? i know what mitch mcconnell believes is in the best interest of the republican party. i don't know if john boehner and mitch mcconnell are in sync on believing that the tax issue should completely be taken off the table. if there's no deal today, they'll cut taxes in three days when there's a new congress. >> focusing back on the senate, how important is vice president biden? >> the only person with any sort of warm relationship with mitch mcconnell is joe biden. the president doesn't have one. harry reid and mitch mcconnell do have one, it's on again, off again, but it can deterior
back from the edge of the fiscal cliff. and welcome to a brand new hour of "america live," i'm heather childers. gregg: and i'm gregg jarrett, megyn is off today. senate lawmakers also cutting short their holiday break. the real sticking point is in all of this has been the president's proposed tax hike. both sides suggesting a cooling-off period was necessary before getting back to business, but the word from both democrats and republicans today, nothing has changed. chief white house correspondent ed henry is in beautiful honolulu. aloha, ed. [laughter] >> reporter: aloha. [laughter] well, it's interesting pause you say the sticking point -- because you say the sticking point is taxes going up, which is true, but the other big one will be spending cuts because the latest offer, we've been through plan a which was that $4 trillion debt deal, plan b which fell apart on speaker john boehner last week, now we're basically on plan c which president obama says would be dealing with short-term issues like two million people who are losingen employment benefits in a week, dealing with the ta
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